Ford Galp Energia Racing - Rota do Vidro Rally preview

It's all or nothing around Marinha Grande stages. Lisbon (Portugal), September 25, 2002 - There's great expectation inside Ford Galp Energia Racing team for the forthcoming Rota do Vidro Rally, to be held next weekend, marking the return of the...

It's all or nothing around Marinha Grande stages.

Lisbon (Portugal), September 25, 2002 - There's great expectation inside Ford Galp Energia Racing team for the forthcoming Rota do Vidro Rally, to be held next weekend, marking the return of the Portuguese Rally season into action. The rally, organized by Clube Automóvel da Marinha Grande also counts for the European Championship (coeff. 5) and will become a 'all or nothing' type of event for the Ford Dealer Network and Galp Energia sponsored team.

"In fact, this is an extremely important rally to us all, as until the end of the season there are only 40 points available and, at this time, the difference towards our main opponents from Peugeot is of 28 points", said Anabela Correia, Ford's Team Manager. "For that reason, in order to be able to maintain some hopes on the driver's title, although difficult to achieve, we must win this event, as well as on the last three rallies of the season and also hope that the others might stumble somewhere, loosing some points on the way, as by now all they have to do is to manage the point advantage they held".

Although facing this, there's a high spirit within the team, due to the excellent indications left on the previous Vinho Madeira tarmac rally. "Even if we didn't finish that rally, our performance during the event and our meshing with the Michelin equipped Ford Focus WRC has produced some interesting results on some stages, opening us some new perspectives towards the later part of the championship", said Rui Madeira. "While the minor problems that we felt were not conditioning our pace, we were able to show a clear evolution on the car's performance on tarmac, so we believe that we'll have something to say on the battle for the next Rota do Vidro Rally".

Sportingly centred on Figueiró dos Vinhos region, but based on Marinha Grande, the Rota do Vidro Rally has ten different stages, while eight of which are run twice. The event has 18 special stages, totalling 200.32 km that are integrated on the overall route of 797.71 km. Leg 1 will start Friday evening, with a 1.35 km Superspecial Stage designed on Marinha Grande city centre. After a good night sleep, the drivers will tackle the stages of Chimpeles (14.61 km), Arega (8.21), Derreadas (16.83), Castanheira de Pera (12.61) and Campelo (10.38), all of them twice, besides the 8.87 km of the solitary Alvaiázere stage. On Sunday, 2nd Leg will include a double run on Pedrógão Grande (8.43 km), Sertã (12.17) and Cernache (11.81), while the arrival is due to happen around 15h50 on the final podium set up at the Expo Park of that country glass industrial pole.

Stages that Rui Madeira and Fernando Prata are presently making the official recees. "That's a 50% new rally to me, presenting stages that were used some years ago on previous editions and others that are run opposite way to what they were last year", said the driver. "The stages are fast and tricky, somewhat dirty on some sections, a situation that might become worst if we have worst weather conditions during the event. In case it rains, the tyre choice might become a true lottery", he added.

-fgr-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Rui Madeira , Fernando Prata